So, That’s Where Marble Comes From: My Trip to the Carrera Quarries
It says a lot about marble that one cannot name a single fact about where it comes from, how hard it is to mine and move, its historical significance, and yet when in its presence, you know it’s something very special. In a recent piece in the New York Times, The Majestic Marble Quarries of Northern Italy, they observe, “Like gold, marble is a special form of embedded wealth, visually striking and deeply impractical.”
I just got back from a trip to the Apuan Alps in Carrera, Italy and couldn’t believe the staggering beauty of these remote and other-worldly white mountains where primordial creatures compressed and petrified into interlocking white crystals to make marmo, or marble as we Americans like to call it. After about one terrifying hour’s drive from Florence (boy are Italians bad drivers!) we toured the steep hillsides where our marble (ours until it is yours) gets cut with a diamond-edged saw, loaded onto huge trucks and slowly begins its 5,000 mile journey to a hillside here in Aspen. The colors of these quarries are hard to describe–the subtle, swirling blues and grays and blinding white … I’ll never see my bathroom in quite the same way.
Perhaps it’s crazy to import marble from so far away when one of America’s most famous marble quarries is not even 30 miles away as the crow flies in Marble, Colorado, but there is nothing like the intricate coloring and beauty of Italian marble. Not to mention bathing amongst stones from the same quarry that clad the colosseum in Rome, that still clads the Taj Mahal, and that Michelangelo used to carve his David … Worth it.